I hope you found that short video on the fundamentals of understanding your “Markets and Customers”last week helpful, this week I will list a series of questions that you should consider when you are searching for your Customer and your Market, so it basically adds on to the video that was presented last week.
Understanding your Market and Market Share:
- How can your market be described in terms of product, customer need, and geographic location? For instance, a market can be described as “walking shoes for the active urban professional” (Of course, your description should be more in detail and the example being used here is a general breakdown of a market description) You would then break down each segment by describing the walking shoes-product; defining “active professional”, and geographically placing “urban”, i.e. Chicago, Illinois.
- What is your industry definition and the activities defined within that industry? If you are unfamiliar with your industry involves, look up your NAICS code via the Small Business Administration website at www.sba.gov.
- What are the demographics, characteristics, behaviors, needs, and preferences related to your product or service in this market? Are the demographics changing? If so, how often? For example, does your “working class” market include a large share of individuals who plan on retiring within the next five years?
- What is the market share for your product or service and how can you monitor your share? Additionally, how is your market share changing compared to the market share of your competitor?
- How can you use your marketing plan to make the most of the identified by market opportunities, while minimizing threats that are result of the market’s characteristics?
Understanding your Customers, B2B and B2C:
- What are the customer needs that can be efficiently and profitably satisfied? Are your customers B2B or B2C? Do they need a service like marketing, or a product like paper?
- How do your customers perceive the value of products and services, similar to yours? Does your competitor offer a similar product at a better price? For instance, have you ever had to replace an Apple I-Phone charger?
- Who are your customers in each market, what are their buying habits? Additionally, you should always know who makes the buying decisions for your targets, in addition to how they prefer their sales pitches. For instance, a baby-boomer might be fine with an hour long in person sales appointment; whereas, a millennial may prefer that you email the information first, and a sales contact will be made if they are interested.
- Are there any cultural practices or societal issues that should be taken into consideration?
Of course this is not a one size fits all list, it is just some of the essential areas that should be taken into consideration when you are researching your customer behavior and most profitable market. Come back next week as I discuss “Plan Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning” and we get one step closer to finalizing your marketing plan!